AI and automation technologies have the potential to impact many industries, and property is not immune.
Overall, AI could replace 300 million full-time jobs.Due to its ability to produce content indistinguishable from human-output, generative AI systems could degrade or completely replace 300 million jobs with automation. This is the equivalent of a quarter of all work tasks in the US and Europe. It’s a scary thought.
AI doesn’t fill us all with joy. In fact, where it’s headed can seem spooky.
The “singularity” (when the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI) – becomes so advanced that it will irreversibly change human civilisation) may be close…AI research firm Anthropic detailed AI’s “very rapid progress” means AI could overtake humans within years. In the real world, tech business Synchron’s chief executive Tom Oxley believes brain implants could one day allow users to “throw” their emotions so others can feel what they’re feeling. They’ve already created an implant that allowed a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to send emails and browse the internet using his thoughts.
AI is already changing major CRM systems is being used in medical settings as well as the ubiquitous ChatGPT.
So how does that translate to estate agencies? Will a robot be attending the market appraisal and holding it’s own in a debate on the derby match the night before? Not quite, and it’s not guaranteed that AI will ultimately replace estate agents, but it can certainly change the nature of the work.
We’ve had a think and here’s how AI could affect the job of estate agents:
- Data Analysis: AI can analyze vast amounts of data quickly and accurately. We already use a huge deal of data to pull our market and property reports, but with AI, this can be done faster. This won’t really affect your day-to-day work; apart from that, you are confident you can present well-informed decisions and valuable insights without spending excessive time on research.
- Property Matching: AI algorithms can efficiently match properties with potential buyers or renters based on their preferences, budgets, and needs. This can reduce the time estate agents spend showing properties to clients who are unlikely to be interested, allowing agents to focus on more serious prospects. Then again. we all need a human and someone we trust to tell us what to look for, when to skip the filters and the blinkers, and to respond to the market conditions with the knowledge of years of experience.
- Virtual Tours and 3D Models: AI can facilitate the creation of virtual property tours and 3D models, providing clients with immersive experiences without the need for physical visits. That being said, you still need to access a home and do viewings. Where AI changes is in how many you hold. AI could have the potential to streamline the property viewing process and reduce the need for estate agents to accompany clients to multiple locations when decisions are made sooner based on what they have ‘seen’.
- Customer Service: Chatbots and virtual assistants can handle routine inquiries from clients, such as answering questions about property listings, scheduling appointments, and providing general information. This frees up estate agents to focus on more complex tasks and personal interactions.
- Predictive Analytics: AI can predict market trends, property values, and investment opportunities, helping estate agents provide clients with better advice and strategies for buying or selling properties. While tools like Acaboom include a mortgage calculator, perhaps the AI powers of the future will detect or indicate risks and rewards that only an agent with superpowers can do. This would make it a much more level playing field.
- Training: In a study, it was revealed that nearly 50% of managers with over ten years of experience claim they’ve only received about nine total hours of training, and 43% of managers who have been in their role for less than a year say they’ve had no training. It’s hard to get trained in estate agency, but AI may be able to take some of the hard work away from busy managers and sales leaders. This opens up more recruitment opportunities, apprenticeships and other angles to help get agents on the ground working faster.
While AI can automate and optimise many aspects of the real estate industry, there are certain elements of the job that may still require the human touch, such as negotiating complex deals, providing personalised advice, and handling emotionally charged situations.
Estate agents who adapt to these changes by embracing AI as a tool to enhance their services rather than viewing it as a threat may continue to play a valuable role in the industry.
In summary, AI is likely to change the way estate agents work by automating routine tasks and providing them with data-driven insights. While AI may reduce the demand for some aspects of their job, it also has the potential to enhance their capabilities and improve the overall customer experience. The extent of AI’s impact will depend on how the industry and individual estate agents adapt to these technological advancements.